Monday, March 31, 2014

Day 23 of 40 Days of Random Acts of Kindness in Honor of Lent 2014

Today's Random Act of Kindness for my Giving Back Instead of Giving Up project started because, like I would imagine most homeschooling families are doing right now, I am planning our unit studies/subjects/curriculums for next school year! Because of this , I have been cleaning out and sorting through all of the books, movies, etc. in the house!

We gathered up a box of about three dozen items and donated them to our local library!

Bye, bye, Blue's Clues. Sadly, we have now outgrown you. We have had Blue's Clues around for over ten years now and I think I was the only one sad to see her go. My babies are growing up...

Wearing Glasses Shouldn't Prevent You From Protecting Your Eyes with Solar Shield (Review with Giveaway, Ends 04/15/14, US Only)

Disclosure: We received free sunglasses in exchange for our honest opinion about them.

Just because some of us choose to wear eyeglasses instead of contacts doesn't mean that we shouldn't have options when it comes to eye protection, right? While our body needs vitamin D from the sun, UV rays can still be harmful to our eyes in excess. Not to mention sun glare while driving is another hazard!

These sunglasses are for me. They are Solar Shield's Classic Aviator sunglasses.  

Solar Shield Fits Over® Classic Sunglasses are a practical and affordable alternative to prescription sunglasses. Created to be worn over prescription frames, Solar Shield Fits Over® Classic Sunglasses provide optimal protection from the sun while driving or outdoors.

• Designed to fit over eyeglasses
• Lightweight nylon frame
• Polarized lenses reduce glare
• Lenses block 100% UV rays
• The leading brand provided by doctors to their patients

These glasses go on easily. I never have had to fight to put them on, even if I am moving quickly.

They fit me very comfortably.

See how well they protect my eyes?

They cover a large amount around my eyes so that I don't even get sun glare in the corner of my eye.

They aren't the most stylish sunglasses by any means. They are plain and simple. But how they look doesn't matter to me. Functionality is what matters to me.

Daniella even likes to borrow them when she forgets to bring her own!
My son received the ultralight clipon sunglasses by Solar Shield.
He thinks he looks cool.

Too cool to even smile.

See the top wire? It enables the clipons to stretch to fit any width. The grips have not done any damage to his glasses across the course of several months' usage.

Solar Shield® Ultralight ClipOns provide a stylish sun protection solution for eyeglass wearers. Ultralight ClipOns are lightweight and rimless, blending seamlessly into your frames.

• PolarTX™ premium scratch resistant lenses
• Polarized lenses reduce glare
• Lenses block 100% UV rays
• Gentle Grip® prongs won’t scratch your glasses
• Low profile spring bridge
• Lightweight rimless design
Do watch which ones you purchase though as not every pair will necessarily fit your exact lenses. The first pair we received wasn't quite the right size.
SolarShield® - Polarized, fashionable and affordable "fits overs" sunglasses and Clipons for eyeglass wearers.
SOLAR SHIELD® is working with FEED THE CHILDREN to provide hope and resources to those without life's essentials. Simply LIKE the Solar Shield page and we'll donate a pair of sunglasses or readers for every like to those in need. Thanks for helping!!
With Advanced UV Protection™, your eyes can begin to properly relax. The majority of light that reaches your eyes has been filtered and maintains a constant transmission, creating a tranquil, serene environment. Your eyes do not have to continually adjust to fluctuating light conditions. Many of our customers tell us that after wearing our sunglasses for about ten minutes, they feel calmer. The soothing effect on your eyes is beneficial. Your eyes won't get as tired as they might normally.
Solar Shield sunglasses are designed to be worn over perscription eyeglasses. Our patented sunglasses deliver Advanced UV Protection™, completely isolating the eyes from the elements.
Overall, we have been very pleased with our sunglasses. They are just right for us eyeglasses wearers!!
You can purchase Solar Shield sunglasses at these stores:

United States
Fred Meyer
Army & Air Force Exchange
Giant Food
Discount Drug Mart
Gelson's Market
Hannaford Supermarket
Sweetbay Supermarket
Canada London Drugs
Shoppers Drug Mart
Jean Coutu
International BOOTS
Army & Air Force
Direct Selling Limited
Connect with Solar Shield-
You can enter to win a pair of the Classic Aviator sunglasses!

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Day 22 of 40 Days of Random Acts of Kindness in Honor of Lent 2014

Today's Random Act of Kindness for my Giving Back Instead of Giving Up project is complete! Another pretty simple one. I offered more things to giveaway for free online today. Boy, am I getting spring cleaning done!!
I offered on my local Freecycle group. If you haven't joined one yet, you should. It truly helps keep stuff out of landfills!
I offered:
an overabundance of kids hangers that we had
and seven pairs of shoes that Daniella has outgrown

Hopefully, they will find a new home soon!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Day 21 of 40 Days of Random Acts of Kindness in Honor of Lent 2014

I am excited to continue my Giving Back Instead of Giving Up project! Today's Random Act of Kindness was completed in conjunction with our shopping trip at Publix to do a small shopping trip and visit Michael at work.

We stopped at a couple of Red Box kiosks near our home today to leave a little surprise for people who decided to see a movie at home tonight!

Surprise - popcorn for your movie night!! I wish I could have seen people's faces as they found these!

We taped a bag of popcorn to three different kiosks.

Even Poop Has a Purpose by PerBook Publishing (Review with Giveaway, Ends 04/13/14, US and Canada Only)

Disclosure: We received a free copy of the book in exchange for our honest opinion about it.
A message from the author's Facebook Page:

I remember sitting in bed as a young kid, maybe 4 or 5 years old. The pillows were bunched up behind me and I was half covered by a red and black flannel comforter – my mom sat next to me.
It was before bed, so I had gone through the rigmarole of brushing my teeth, washing my face and going to the bathroom – I hated it.

In the bend of my mom’s left arm was a book, and in her right arm, her only son. She would read me “The Story About Ping” by Marjorie Flack, or “The Five Chinese Brothers” by Clare Huchet Bishop, or “The Monster at the End of This Book” by Jon Stone – it was Grover by the way – in fact we had all of the Little Golden Books. And of course, the Little Critter books. And as she read to me, she ‘allowed’ me to work through some of the words myself.

This was a nightly occurrence – and there were 4 of us, so she put in some time trying to get her kids to read. But I think it was more about spending time and making a memory – and she succeeded because those memories stuck with me. And even to this day, recalling them can bring me to tears when I think about that young boy in his mommy’s arms.

Kids look at the world with such awe and wonder. I wanted to visit the Yangtze River, or hang out with Grover - those books had an impact on me.
This big place we rush around in can be awesome, but it can also be nerve-racking and scary for a kid.

When I was little, I was scared of pooping.

My mom knew it. She knew it because she asked me about it.
If you take a second and ask your little one, “What are you afraid of?” the answer they give might surprise you.
And when you find out, let me know, I might even write a book about it.
So you see, Even This Page Has a Purpose.

- Uncle Paul
We are dedicated to parents and kids spending time together, bonding and allowing imagination to be a primary source of learning as a child begins to read.
We also, are keenly aware of the fears and misunderstandings that children have, that parents might otherwise overlook or not really understand. We are attempting to explain and actually make fears fun and silly.
Even Poop has a Purpose is our first book in The Even Series and is available on Amazon in paperback format, Kindle, and also on the iTunes store for iBooks.                                                                                                                       
We also decided to partner with a charity. We realized that we can do some good on top of the whimsy of a fun picture book.
Each book in The Even Series will be partnered with a charity that is close to us, but also fits the theme of the book.
Uncle Paul (the author) lost his father to colon cancer almost 3 years ago and Mr. Book (the illustrator) lost a few members of his family, most recently, his sister, to pancreatic cancer. This lead them to the Colon Cancer Alliance. We donate $1 from each sale of Even Poop has a Purpose to the Colon Cancer Alliance.
What we like about them, is that they are not only the highest rated and oldest Colon Cancer Charity in the country, but dedicated to education, prevention and healing - both medically and naturally.
A fun picture book about poop that helps (and entertains) kids and kids at heart. This book is not intended for potty training purposes, although it can be used for that. They have actually found that boys ages 4-8 have had the most fun with it. There is a hidden poop on every spread. And the paperback comes with a coloring and "mad-libs" style activity book at the end of it.
$1 for every book goes to the Colon Cancer Alliance! This is especially fitting because March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. 
I laughed so hard when I read this dedication!!
This book is about the science of poop...yes, the science behind it. No, I didn't say the word butt, I said behind. I know what you were thinking! Okay, you know this book is going to be popular among kids simply because it's about poop.
But seriously, it DOES involve science and YES, poop does have a purpose! I am not going to give it all away though so I hope your curiosity is piqued enough to make you buy your own copy!
I love that Noah's Ark is included. Brandon was studying about Noah's Ark a few weeks ago and he said to me then, "Mom, what did Noah do with all of the animal poop?". Kids think about poop a lot!
The illustrations in this book are fantastic!
Here is the coloring activity part of the book!
See how it is similar to "Mad-Libs"?
Looks fun, doesn't it?
Of course, the book has to end with poop. :)
 Daniella loves to read and she thinks this book is very silly!
She likes to find the poop on every page!
She especially likes how colorful this page is!
Even 12 year old Brandon gets a kick out of this poop!
PerBook Publishing would like to offer EVERY single one of you the opportunity to get your iTunes eBook for FREE (along with a paperback copy to five winners!)
All you gave to do is become fans of their Facebook page and you can receive an iTunes eBook for FREE. Simply send them a Private Message with code GUNaturally1 and your email address! The free books are only available on Apple products as a .epub file. Basically, you need to have iBooks on your device or tablet. They do have a Kindle version for sale, that will work on any Kindle or Kindle app however they don't have the ability to send that file for free like they can with the iTunes file.
Connect with PerBook Publishing-
PerBook Publishing has very generously offered a paperback copy of Even Poop Has a Purpose for FIVE winners!!!!

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Eco Friendly and Affordable Accessories for Mamas, Babies, and Children from Tiny Footprint (Review with Giveaway, Ends 04/11/14, Worldwide)

Disclosure: We received a free hairband in exchange for our honest opinion about it.

I have been looking forward to sharing Tiny Footprint with you for a few months now!

Tiny Footprint is a small, family run, Canadian store specializing in eco friendly and affordable items for mamas, babies and children. Local pick up is more than welcome. 
Tiny Footprint carries only high quality items for your little ones. Many items are locally made. Some of the items you will find in their shop include cloth diapers, wet bags, hair accessories, baby leggings, socks, bamboo spoons, diaper cream, natural shampoos, bibs, snack bags, and more.
The shop owner doesn't personally make any of the items she sells. She is very particular about the items that she carries in her shop ensuring that only the highest quality items make the cut. Many of the items she carries are handmade. She has a wide selection of items to choose from, even of the same kind. For example, she carries felt hairbows which come in multiple colors. She also carries cloth swim diapers that come in multiple prints. She even names each hairbow she keeps in stock which I think is great to help her have even better customer service. I think it helps her track orders better than someone just requesting something like "I want one of your black flower hair clips."  She even named one of her hair accessories after Daniella!
We received an "Avery" lime chevron hairband. This particular hairband is available in five different color combinations!

Other hairbands that I have for Daniella are a bit big on her head still, but this one fits her perfectly and still has room to stretch!

The lime green color is absolutely perfect for Spring! The grosgrain ribbon bow is adorable.

I am hoping to find her an Easter dress that this will match because it's such a pretty pastel color.

It was also just right for St. Patrick's Day!
It really is great quality. And Daniella loves that it stays put and doesn't slip like her other hairbands.
The Tiny Footprint Facebook Page has all of their available items neatly organized into albums so that you can easily find what you are looking for!
Tiny Footprint wants you to know that in March and April her Facebook fans can look out for Easter specials and giveaways.  She offers flash sales and has contests for giveaways on a regular basis. She has lots of leggings, hair accessories, and tutus in the perfect colors for Easter! She even has little boy ties! 

 Also, she is more than happy to bring in any items that customers request. And she ships worldwide!

Tiny Footprint is generously offering a 10% discount if you let her know that Growing Up Naturally In Home Child Care sent you! This offer is good until April 30th, 2014.

EDITED TO ADD: Tiny Footprint has informed me that they are now carrying a product that she herself makes! They are called French Memory boards.

These can be used to attach hairbows to.

Some people use them to tuck their mail, pictures or little mementos into.

Here's a closer look.
Aren't they adorable?!

Enter to win your very own Avery headband!

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